October 20, 2009

Working to find confidence.

I’ve read two posts in the past two days dealing with confidence.  Or lack thereof.

I know that I’m not the most confident person I know.  But I do know that from my childhood until recently I suffered from debilitating shyness.

It was horrible.  My cousin even went so far as to have a tee-shirt made for me that said, “I’m not stuck up; I’m just shy.” Because she told me that everyone thought I was stuck up.  But she knew better.

I have reached a point in my life where I am more confident.  I don’t care so much about what most people think of me.  It’s liberating.  Soooo liberating.

The main example I can give to show you just how shy I was; I was set up to meet this guy (who is now known as Hubby) at a small get together.  I can’t remember, I think it was dinner and watching a football game or a movie.  I don’t think I said one word the entire evening.  And he tried.  Oh, how he tried, to engage me in conversation.  Not one word from me.  As soon as the game/movie was over I was out of there like a shot; mumbling something about having to get up early for a dental appointment.

Needless to say, my dear friend called me early the next day to find out what had happened (she’d already heard the other side).  She wanted to know if I was even interested.  Yes, of course I was interested.  She also knew how shy I was.  She pestered me and pestered me.  She informed me that he assumed I wasn’t interested.  She finally told me (yes, she was the match-maker in this whole deal) that he had said that if I called him (which showed interest) he would take me out and see what happened.  It took me forever.  But finally, I made that call – THANK GOD he wasn’t home so I was able to leave a message.  The rest, of course, is history.  Of course, now he says that I’m not the quiet, meek woman he married….I tell him he wouldn’t want that anyway.

That, of course, wasn’t the end to my shyness.  There was the family wedding where I was terrified and got upset that Hubby left me for five minutes to go talk to a family member he hadn’t seen in years.  Not long after that I left the reception with a “headache” and hid out in the hotel room for the remainder of the evening.  I’m sure Hubby was relieved to not have to babysit me anymore. 

After I had Man-Child things got a bit better.  He and Hubby are very extroverted; which in turn put me in situations that I normally wouldn’t have been in.  And, you know how small ones always seems to invite complete strangers to talk to you.  And you, being so proud of your small one, eventually end up talking back.

But not too long ago, I realized; if I act confident then I am confident (that sounds stupid, I know-but somehow, it works).  It’s kind of like that saying about smiling even when you don’t feel like it and then you find that you are smiling because you want to?  (yes, more trite crap – but true) (maybe that’s why it’s trite?) (oh hell, more parentheses!).  I’ve also realized that all those people who look and act so confident . . . really aren’t.  They are projecting what they want you to see.

Man-Child, being in his teens, is going through this sometimes.  Always thinking that people are watching him, judging him, etc.  I’ve tried to explain to him that in reality they aren’t.  They are too busy worrying about their appearance and what people are thinking about them.  Some days he gets it; some days he doesn’t.  I’m just thankful that he doesn’t suffer the way I did when I was a teen; when I was a teen it was constant.

Anyway, there are days when my confidence is low – but on most days I try really hard to be the strong confident woman I want to be; and on those days?  I usually succeed.

But still…every time before I hit “post” I am plagued with the “what-ifs;” as in, what if I offend somebody?  What if no one likes it?  What if this is the post where everyone unfriends me?

But you know what? I’m going to hit post anyway.  Let the chips fall where they may.

5 comments:

  1. Walking out to your mailbox naked will cure your shyness and give you all the confidence in the world. Try it

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  2. Blasé - I don't think I'm quite at that point yet....

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  3. I'm glad you feel more confident now...there's hope for me yet. I know that feeling about the posts, I always double check that I'm not offending anyone. :0)

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  4. My step-daughter is 13. She is so SHY and seems so baby-fied that I just want to shake her sometimes! My daughter said that lunch, step-daughter sits with her ONE friend, and that friends talks to other people, but step-daughter never says a word and doesn't even look up from her lunch. You can't hear her when she talks, IF she talks, which is rare. If her dad says one wrong thing, in one little bit of tone that suggest he MIGHT be mad at her, she cries.

    It drives me freaking crazy. Were you like that? I'm so worried about her going to high school next year that it is really bothering me. I don't know if it's shyness, self-esteem, or the fact that she has been treated like a baby so long. My six-year old acts more mature than her and I am NOT kidding.

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  5. Bina - almost that bad. If there were people around that I didn't know that well - forget it. Have you thought about counselling for her? It's really hard to get past that shyness/self-esteem thing. And high school will be very hard for her. Encourage her to join clubs, etc. The more people she meets the more comfortable she might feel?

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